The Totally Sweet 90s — From Clear Cola to Furby and Grunge to “Whatever,” the Toys, Tastes, and Trends that Defined a Decade, by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont ($14.00)
Summary of The Totally Sweet 90s:
If you can tell the difference between the Petes in Pete & Pete, know every step to the Macarena by heart, and remember when TheReal World was about more than just drunken hookups, The Totally Sweet 90s will be a welcome trip down memory lane.
With this hella cool guide, you’ll reminisce about that glorious glorious decade when Beanie Babies were a good investment in your future and Kris Kross had you wearing your pants backward. Whether you contracted dysentery on The Oregon Trail or longed to attend Janet Reno’s dance party, you’ll get a kick out of seeing which toys, treats and trends stayed around, and which flopped.
So throw your ponytail into a scrunchie, take a swig from your can of Surge, and join us on this ride through the unforgettable (and sometimes unforgivable) trends of the ’90s.
My review of The Totally Sweet 90s:
The Totally Sweet 90s is fun, fun, fun. Of course, I was in my 20s during this decade, so my perspective is slightly different than someone who, say, was a child during the 1990s. However, I also was having children throughout the 1990s, so that gives me a little extra perspective into some of the ’90s trends and toys and whatnot.
Ya know, like Barney & Friends. For the love of all that is holy…why, oh why, was Barney so adored? It made me insane. However, we owned everything Barney, I think we even had a Barney-themed birthday party (or two — ugh!), and that song. But, oh, that song. In what is quite possibly the best “Fun Fact” in The Totally Sweet 90s book? TV Guide named Barney & Friends one of the worst shows ever, in 2009.
Some of my favorite memories from The Totally Sweet 90s:
The Big Lebowski — The Dude abides. Indeed he does.
Caller ID and *69 — Life changers, plain and simple.
Clerks. ‘Nuff said.
Fargo, Fax Machines, and Floppy Disks. No, they have nothing to do with each other, but they all start with “F.” All fun things from the 90s to reminisce about.
“I’m the king of the world!” If you’re older than say, 15, you know precisely what I’m talking about — who said it, when, where, how, you name it. It seemed sacrilegious at the time to point out the silliness of that line…but in 2004, it was voted the cheesiest movie line ever, beating the ultra-lame “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” That’s saying something.
Magic Eye Pictures. One can’t ignore the role Seinfeld played in making these things as popular as they were. I still have a headache from looking at them.
Scrunchies, Slap Bracelets, and Socker Boppers. Oh, Socker Boppers. I want to go buy a pair right this minute (well, two pair — and, yes, they’re available!) and start having matches. Good times, good times.
Tickle Me Elmo — Loved him then, love him now, will always love hearing that laugh. Don’t judge me.
WWJD Bracelets. Wow. These came out in the 90s? It seems like yesterday.
And, last, but not least (I even skipped it in the alphabetical list because it’s my very, very favorite)…Calvin and Hobbes, which ran from 1985 to 1995. Who doesn’t remember, with a wistful nostalgia for our youth, the Transmogrifier…or Calvinball…or “GROSS”…or the answer to a teacher’s question about what state Calvin lived in? (Calvin’s answer: Denial.) Oh, Calvin and Hobbes. Life will never be the same without you two.
There sure was a lot of silly, crazy stuff in the ’90s — Clear Colas, Tamagotchi and Saved By the Bell, for example — but it’s a whole lot of fun strolling down that decade’s memory lane. If you were a child of the ’90s, or even an adult (as I was), The Totally Sweet 90s will be a fun read. Sometimes, you just want to not take things too seriously, not think too hard, and just have a good laugh — even if it’s at ourselves. There’s not a darn thing wrong with that.
You can join the authors as they revisit the ’90s (as well as the ’80s — in Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes & Trends of the ’70s & ’80s) at their website, Gen X-Tinct.
Ready to read it? You can pick up a copy of The Totally Sweet 90s on Amazon.
I was not compensated for writing this book. I received a copy of The Totally Sweet 90s to facilitate my review. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.